Crowdsourced Mapping in Crisis Zones: Collaboration, Organisation and Impact

Hunt, A. and Specht, D. 2018. Crowdsourced Mapping in Crisis Zones: Collaboration, Organisation and Impact. Journal of International Humanitarian Action. 4 (1). doi:10.1186/s41018-018-0048-1

TitleCrowdsourced Mapping in Crisis Zones: Collaboration, Organisation and Impact
TypeJournal article
AuthorsHunt, A.
Specht, D.
Abstract

Crowdsourced mapping has become an integral part of humanitarian response, with high profile deployments of platforms following the Haiti and Nepal earthquakes, and the multiple projects initiated during the Ebola outbreak in North West Africa in 2014, being prominent examples. There have also been hundreds of deployments of crowdsourced mapping projects across the globe, that did not have a high profile. This paper, through an analysis of 51 mapping deployments between 2010–2016, complimented with expert interviews, seeks to explore the organisational structures that create the conditions for effective mapping actions, and the relationship between the commissioning body, often a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and the volunteers who regularly make up the team charged with producing the map. The research suggests that there are three distinct areas that need to be improved in-order to provide appropriate assistance through mapping in humanitarian crisis; regionalise; prepare; and research. The paper concludes, based on the case studies, how each of these areas can be handled more effectively, concluding that failure to implement one area sufficiently can lead to overall project failure.

KeywordsCrowdsourced-Mapping, Organisational Structures, Networks, Humanitarianism, Crisis-Mapping, Volunteering
JournalJournal of International Humanitarian Action
Journal citation4 (1)
ISSN2364-3412
Year2018
PublisherSpringer
Publisher's versiondocument(9).pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1186/s41018-018-0048-1
Web address (URL)https://jhumanitarianaction.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41018-018-0048-1
Publication dates
Published07 Jan 2019
LicenseCC BY 4.0

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